Genres: New Adult
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
He told me to 'settle, girl.'
He asked if 'something was wrong with me?'
He said I was an ÔÇÿeasy target.ÔÇÖ
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrotherÔÇÖs fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous,
and my stepbrotherÔÇÖs fraternity brother.
Anti-Stepbrother is NOW AVAILABLE!
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I can safely say this book was well worth the wait. ┬áAdmittedly, I am a *huge* fan of Tijan; her writing is interesting, engaging, fun, and hot as hell. ┬áBut that’s not why I loved this book. ┬áWhile┬áI am not a particularly huge fan of the stepbrother genre, this book took the idea of the genre and gave it a fresh and interesting twist. Much like Tijan’s other books, she takes you on a ride. ┬áBy the time you reach the last word on the final page, you feel as though you know these characters have become your friends for life. ┬áYou’ve walked through fires of despair and rejoiced in their happiness right along side them. ┬áTakes some mighty fine writing to make that happen.
For those of you who are not fans of the stepbrother genre, don’t let the title scare you away. ┬áBecause you’re in for a by breath of fresh air. ┬áBy that, I mean Caden Banks. ┬áHe’s a complex character, one I didn’t expect to be so dynamic. ┬áHe’s an alpha, his relationships are complicated, he is misunderstood because people don’t look past his pretty wrapping, he is loyal, and he’s more than you could ever guess. ┬áWhen you delve into his familial relationships and get a glimpse at the man behind the mask, you’ll fall hard.
Summer seems like the oddest fit for someone like Caden. ┬áThat is until you peel away his layers and open yourself to her quirkiness. ┬áThey’re good people down to their core and they really seem to get each other. ┬áSummer does fall prone to mistakes of her youth and naivet├® (cough, cough, KEVIN), but it’s what she does when it’s time to pull yourself up when you’re down that made me like her. ┬áI like the way she’s written and shows us who she really is.
Still, this doesn’t fully encompass what’s so great about the story. ┬áIt’s more than a tale of Summer wanting her stepbrother. ┬áIt’s a story of how a young woman starts to discover who she, what she really wants, and what means the most to her. ┬áThe chemistry and angst are off the charts. ┬áIf you’re not already a fan of Tijan, this is a great place to find out why she has so many devoted followers. ┬áThe woman can write a story you have to read and re-read again.
He wasnÔÇÖt looking at me any more. I wasnÔÇÖt even sure he was really in the room.
I needed to leave this alone. He had given me the cluesÔÇölooking away, his jaw clenching, pain like IÔÇÖd never heard from him sounding loud and clear. My instincts were telling me to shut up, but I couldnÔÇÖt. I had this burning need to know more about Caden. I needed to get in there, past his walls, and I wanted to understand him.
I wanted to help him.
Caden was hurting, and I wanted to take that away.
Caden turned his gaze to me now, and I felt branded by the pain I saw. His eyes were stricken. ÔÇ£Does it matter?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£No.ÔÇØ My breath caught and held in my chest. I wanted to go to him, but I also wanted to slink away. I was stirring up his pain, but I had to know. ÔÇ£What happened, Caden?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Why do you have to know?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Because itÔÇÖs hurting you.ÔÇØ
I made a decision, though I had no idea what the ramifications were going to be. I stood, my legs going numb and my stomach clenching, and I moved to his side. He leaned back, his head falling to the couch, and he watched me.
The need to ease some of his hurt outweighed the fear of what would happen next. Swallowing tightly, I stepped over to straddle him and sat down.
ÔÇ£What are you doing?ÔÇØ
He asked that softly, still holding his beer. I took it from his hands and put it on the stand next to the couch. Then I just sat there. He had to do the rest. IÔÇÖd already made the first move.
I glanced down at his hands, feeling like an idiot. ÔÇ£What happened?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Why are you pushing this?ÔÇØ
I looked back up to find confusion warring with need in his eyes. He wasnÔÇÖt pushing me away, so I sank further into his lap.
ÔÇ£You havenÔÇÖt told anyone else about this.ÔÇØ It wasnÔÇÖt really a question, but I saw the confirmation in his eyes. My chest tightened, thinking about whatever secret he held. ÔÇ£Please tell me.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£No.ÔÇØ He shifted forward, and I braced myself, expecting him to push me away. He didnÔÇÖt. His hands grasped the backs of my legs and lifted me so I was more fully on his lap.
I could feel him between my legs, and my breasts almost pressed against his chest. I waited. I wanted to see what else heÔÇÖd say
ÔÇ£But not because I donÔÇÖt want you to know,ÔÇØ he added. ÔÇ£Because itÔÇÖs not my secret to tell.ÔÇØ
I nodded, my stomach doing somersaults now. ÔÇ£That makes sense. I can respect that.ÔÇØ
And there we were. His hands cupped my ass, and the pain in his gaze became something darker, something I felt too, something that began to turn off all rational thought.
ÔÇ£What are we doing here?ÔÇØ he questioned, his voice like a caress in itself.
I leaned forward, my gaze lingering on his lips. ÔÇ£I didnÔÇÖt really think it through.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Still not thinking it through.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre okay with that?ÔÇØ
In that moment, the truth exploded in me. I wanted him. I wanted thisÔÇöbut it was more. I needed this.
I didnÔÇÖt answer.
I closed the distance between us.